Food festivals are enjoying a great popularity. Whether it’s the latest fad ingredient, the new trend in culinary artistry, the chance to sample the world’s hottest chilli, or simply to get your hands on fresh local produce, food festivals are great events. There is something delightful about meandering between stalls, clutching freshly baked olive bread still warm in the paper, organics goat cheese, fresh cherries and a bottle of wine straight from the farm. All over the world, no matter the season, there are some of the best local food festivals taking place, showing produce, dishes and ingredients, just waiting to be enjoyed. Here are 7 Fabulous Food Festivals:
1. Pizzafest, Naples, Italy
The Pizzafest at the birth place of pizza itself, is one of the biggest culinary events on the Italian gourmet calendar. Join the 10 day extravaganza, which allows visitors to get a rare glimpse at traditional Italian lifestyles, join workshops, and learn how to make the ultimate Italian pizza dough from scratch, the perfect authentic Italian tomato sauce, and many other special secret recipes. Pizzerias all over the city come together in celebration, and have quirky fun menus and special pizzas just for the food festival, during the middle of September every year.
2. Rice Festival, Feria Du Riz, Arles, France
For 3 days in September, Spain takes over this Roman city in France, as a huge celebration of the harvest takes place. Parades, Camargue horses, bulls running in the streets and music performances makes this food festival a must see for anyone in the area. Browse the bustling market stalls, feast from massive pans of paella, fresh seafood straight from the grill, and loads of delicious Spanish fare with the characteristic red Camargue rice. If you are still not full, buy churros, tapas and other delicious street food from the food stalls that line the streets, just mind the bulls that are also running through. If you can stomach it, there are also bullfights taking place in the massive Roman arena.
3. Harvest Festival, Russin, Switzerland
Celebrating the harvest is often the origin of many food festivals. The locals of any wine country certainly know how to throw a real party, and the folks in the Swiss wine village of Russin, just outside of Geneva, throw a massive celebration over a weekend, in order to toast the completed grape harvest. Plenty of wine drinking, dancing and song takes place, with live bands, parades through the winding town streets. Abundant Swiss cheese, cured meats, fruit tarts and fresh bread will be available to blot up the wine. If you are brave enough, you can taste the ‘’fruit juice’’ made from the first pressings of the grapes, not for the faint hearted, and if you are one of the 15,000 people descending on this tiny village of just 400 locals, you had better bring your drinking shoes.
4. Christmas in Winter, Tulbagh, South Africa
The charming historic town of Tulbagh, is tucked away deep in the winelands valley of the Boland, just 120km north of the famous city of Cape Town in South Africa. Every year at end of June (December is summer in South Africa), the town of Tulbagh comes alive as the first snow arrives and the Christmas decorations are hung and the entire village gets into the festive spirit. The legendary Church Street is closed off and visitors can meander down one of the most historic streets in South Africa, tasting local ‘’boerekos’’, warm spicy gluwien, homemade mince pies, cheese and olives, and of course their local world class award winning wine. Tuck into a traditional Christmas meal next to a roaring log fire and don’t forget your Christmas hat!
5. Abergavenny Food Festival, Wales
With more than 150 food stalls, heaving with local Welsh produce, cooking competitions and culinary demonstrations as well as a full calendar of children’s events, the Aberbavenny Food Festival in South Wales is without a doubt the pinnacle culinary event on the Welsh calendar. Learn how to make the perfect Martini, indulge in some of the best pub grub in the area, or get out to some of the finest dining experiences at the restaurants in Wales. Enjoy smoked garlic, Welsh onion bread and the famous Herefordshire cider.
6. Kunsthal Cooking, Rotterdam, Holland
The Dutch Festival of Real Taste is the largest of Holland’s gastronomic events. Attracting an abundance of boutique foodie producers, the food festival is as much a market as it is a premier culinary event. Buy rare fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and Dutch cheese and fresh bread, and enjoy the demonstrations and cookery shows. With so many opportunities for the entire family to get an apron on and get stuck in, kids included, this is one of those must see food festivals in Holland.
7. Great British Cheese Festival, Cardiff
For those discerning cheese enthusiasts, you can head down to the Great British Cheese Festival in Cardiff for a Masterclass in cheese making, and with a massive showcase of more than 500 cheeses on display, there will be plenty to taste and see. Enjoy the offerings of the busy food market, and try some of the organic meat, veggies, fresh bread and of course cheese. Wash it down with a beer, cider or perry fresh from the local brewery.
Food festivals are not just for foodies. They are a great way for families to enjoy some quality time together over a lazy weekend. Some of the food festivals take place in the country side, so it is a perfect chance for people to get back in touch with nature, as well as indulging in local fare from the food market. Which one of these 7 Fabulous Food Festivals made your mouth water?
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